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“Chasing the Dragon” during Opioid Awareness Week

Chasing the Dragon Event Flyer
The New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office, Newark FBI, DEA New Jersey, Hudson County Prosecutor’s office, Ocean County Prosecutor’s office, the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, as well as the CarePoint Health Foundation and Barnabas Health, collectively sponsored two events aimed at increasing awareness of the growing heroin epidemic and deterring prospective users.

Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict, is a documentary profiling the stories of several people who either abused opiates or had family members become addicts. The film was jointly developed by the FBI and DEA as part of their effort to combat the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin abuse. In addition to examining the cycle of addiction and consequences associated with opioid abuse, the documentary also features interviews with medical and law enforcement professionals discussing the effects of the addiction and how this epidemic differs from others in U.S. history.

The documentary is targeted at high school students and young adults and seeks to deter those either thinking of trying drugs or just beginning to use drugs. The FBI and DEA are offering the film to educators at no cost for incorporating it into their curriculum.

As part of Opioid Awareness Week, we participated in two screenings for the film:

•    Saint Peter’s University, Mac Mahon Student Center- September 13, 2016
•    Gateway Building Lecture Hall Ocean County Community College- September 19, 2016

Event Panelists at Ocean County Film Screening

Each screening featured remarks from federal and county law enforcement officials and presentations from health care professionals, as well as panels discussing existing efforts to combat the epidemic, educational tools, and places people can go to get help.

Both events were well-attended by state, local and county law enforcement; doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals; student athletic associations; substance abuse counselors; teachers, administrators and other members of the New Jersey education community.

Featured speakers:
•    Paul Fishman, US Attorney for the District of New Jersey
•    Tim Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge, Newark FBI 
•    Carl Kotowski, Special Agent in Charge, Newark DEA 
•    Angelo Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey
•    William J. Holubek MD, MPH, CarePoint Health
•    Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez
•    Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato
•    Angelo Valente, Executive Director, Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey 
•    Vikram Varma, MD, MBA, FACEP, Barnabas Health

For more information about the video and related training materials, check out

Updated January 19, 2021

Community Outreach